Dullstroom - or Trouteng as it is now being called - is finding new property market impetus from the demand for bed and breakfast (B&B) accommodation.
Pieter Minnaar of Homenet Dullstroom comments: “The fresh energy for the market that this is generating, which includes refurbishments and extensions of existing properties by investors and present owners, is timely in that planning approvals for new developments are difficult to obtain.”
He says that surprisingly, there are only about 350 homes in Dullstroom proper, not counting the new golf estate development on the periphery of the town. And with planning approvals for new development or sub-divisions slow in coming as the local council battles to provide services, Dullstroom has become something of a hothouse market.
Minnaar says that to a large extent, this explains why prices have continued to increase while other parts of the country have experienced a bit of a slow down. He says that the current average price for a basic two-bedroom townhouse is around the R800 000 mark. Existing homes fetch in the region of R1, 3m while buyers of new homes can expect to pay R2m and upwards.
Dullstroom’s on-going popularity is clearly reflected in the fact that the limited number of hotels in Dullstroom have high occupancies throughout the week. Minnaar notes that due to this popularity, much of the market is currently focused on refurbishments and extensions to existing properties, in many cases to start B&B businesses, either by existing residents or new investors seeking a combination of semi-retirement and an income-generating sideline.
“As a result, small, mainly private developers have proliferated, concentrating on existing properties. This creates plenty of demand for local builders, while a further knock-on effect is that the values of all properties, including those not being refurbished, continue to rise.
And this is enabling many of those who don’t want to run a B&B to sell their Dullstroom homes at a good profit and move on to other towns in the region such as Belfast and Lydenburg.